Eels win minor title but lose Hindmarsh - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels win minor title but lose Hindmarsh

02/09/2005 09:49:38 PM Comments (0)

The Eels have claimed the 2005 NRL minor premiership but may have lost Test backrower Nathan Hindmarsh for the rest of the season after an impressive 28-14 victory over Brisbane at Parramatta Stadium.

Hindmarsh suffered suspected damage to his posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in what would be a crushing blow to the Eels' title hopes.

Eels doctor Michael Johnson - a knee specialist - is still to determine the full extent of the damage which left a sour taste in the mouths of Parramatta as it toasted its second minor premiership in five seasons.

Hindmarsh - who had just overcome a hamstring complaint - was carried off the field after three minutes following a heavy tackle by Brisbane halfback Brett Seymour, almost silencing the sell-out crowd of 20,340.

But the Eels faithful quickly found something to smile about thanks to rookie halfback Tim Smith who played a hand in all five tries, showing experience beyond his tender age of 20 to seal the crucial victory.

While Parramatta collects the $100,000 prizemoney for the minor premiership, an injury-ravaged Brisbane contemplated the fact that it could finish as far down the NRL ladder as fourth despite leading the competition for the majority of the season.

The Broncos welcomed back ex-Test prop Shane Webcke and Seymour from injury.

But Brisbane still had a galaxy of stars watching forlornly from the sidelines including skipper Darren Lockyer who didn't play despite speculation he would make a surprise return from a hamstring complaint.

After trailing 14-6 at halftime, Parramatta brought the sell out crowd to its feet when scheming halfback Smith set up super sub Dean Widders to score near the posts in the 47th minute.

Parramatta scored in the set after Broncos backrower Brad Thorn was penalised for back chatting referee Paul Simpkins.

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